Yankees’ Cody Poteet twirls gem in first outing since 2022

CLEVELAND — It had been nearly 21 months since Cody Poteet last stood on a major league mound until Saturday.

However, the Yankees right-hander certainly looked like he could play that role.

Poteet, called up as the 27th player from Triple-A as a spot starter for Saturday’s doubleheader nightcap, pitched sharply, giving up one run in six innings in an 8-2 win over the Guardians at Progressive Field.

Cody Poteet allowed just one run in six innings in the Yankees’ 8-2 Game 2 win over the Guardians. Getty Images

“Just being able to get back on a major league field is a huge honor and it’s not guaranteed,” said Poteet, who underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2022. “It’s a blessing to be in the major leagues tonight.”

Poteet made the most of his 80-pitch pitch, throwing 77 pitches and recording 18 outs, helping protect the Yankees’ bullpen in the second game of a doubleheader.

He had four strikeouts, no walks, and allowed only one solo home run to former Yankees forward Esteban Florial.

“Scoring six points in the second game of a doubleheader is a big game,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He threw. I know that’s what we got. He combined the two-seam and four-seam well. [fastballs] Then he comes off the barrel with a changeup and a secondary. A really strong effort from him. ”

Potito, who signed with the Yankees in January to strengthen their starting lineup after losing much in the Juan Soto trade, showed his potential in spring training before starting the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. bloomed.

But early Friday afternoon, he received word that the Yankees needed him for Saturday’s nightcap, and he arrived in Cleveland around midnight with a mixture of excitement and nervousness ahead of his return to a major league mound.

“I always believed I was a major league starting pitcher,” Poteet said. “just [went] Just go out there tonight and keep moving forward. It would be a good step forward for the rest of the year. I’m just grateful for the opportunity. ”

Lewis Gil was available out of the bullpen for Saturday’s doubleheader — either for length or big innings — and the Yankees didn’t need him.

The right-handed pitcher was originally scheduled to start Saturday, but Friday’s game was postponed to set up Saturday’s twinbill, so the Yankees opted to call up Cody Poteet to start Game 2, with Nestor on Sunday. – Cortez is scheduled to be the starter.

After not pitching on Saturday, Gil will start Monday’s series opener against the Blue Jays in Toronto, with Carlos Rodon and Marcus Stroman receiving additional rest.

The Yankees made a series of roster moves during the doubleheader, most of which were necessitated by John Barty going on a 10-day IL with a strained left groin. They chose to sign Triple-A infielder Kevin Smith to the active roster in place of Berti, but designated left-handed reliever Josh Maciejewski to make room on Smith’s 40-man roster.

To fill the hole in Maciejewski’s bullpen, the Yankees brought back relief pitcher Ron Marinacio, who pitched the ninth inning of the nightcap and was hit with a solo home run by Josh Naylor.

The Yankees also brought reliever McKinley Moore back from the IL, optioned him to Triple-A, and sent reliever Clayton Andrews to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Gerrit Cole (elbow neuritis) played catch for the second time in the Bronx on Thursday, and it went well, Boone said.

The Yankees ace plans to pitch again this weekend.

Tommy Kahnle (shoulder) threw a bullpen session in Tampa on Friday, and “it seemed to go well,” Boone said.

Top prospect Spencer Jones made his season debut Saturday against Double-A Somerset after missing Week 1 with a stiff shoulder.